Pubs & Charity Month: Pint-sized fundraisers raise the profile of British pubs

By Luke Nicholls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pubs, Public house, Charitable organization

The Pubs & Charity campaign is encouraging more pubs to organise charity events throughout July
The Pubs & Charity campaign is encouraging more pubs to organise charity events throughout July
Despite being continually battered by a perfect storm of high taxes, cheap supermarket alcohol and grim economic times, pubs across the UK remain resolute in their work with charities, raising more than £106m in the past year alone – an average of £2,742 per pub.

That’s according to a study conducted by CGA on behalf of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), which has just launched Pubs & Charity Month for July, in association with PubAid. It found that 85 per cent of pubs have been actively raising money for charity, with funds raised increasing by nearly 5 per cent since 2010.

“The pub industry has been struggling in these tough economic times but our new research shows all parties win if pubs run charity events,” said Camra’s chief executive Mike Benner.

“The charities get important funds, pubs get busier and the locals get some fun events to attend. We hope everyone will encourage their local pub to participate in July’s ‘Pubs & Charity’ month and the community will support these activities.”

Changing perceptions

The Pubs & Charity campaign encourages pubs to organise charity events throughout July. It aims to raise the profile of the British pub, at a time when many establishments get unfairly blamed for anti-social behaviour, and 26 pubs are closing every week.

Des O’Flanagan, one of the co-founders of PubAid, added: “The PubAid team is dedicated to combatting the areas of the press and perception from some corners that view pubs as only having a negative contribution to society.

“We do this by sharing the work that pubs do for charitable causes. The contribution of licensees and their customers is made even more amazing if you consider the financial pressure licensees and consumers are under at the moment.”

Charitable efforts

To mark Pubs & Charity Month, BigHospitality has rounded up some of the work pubs have been doing to raise funds for charities over the past year.

Pub-charity-2013
John Barras pubs raised over £3,000 for the Little Princess Trust

Twenty-two John Barras pubs from across the Midlands raised in excess of £3,000 for children’s charity the Little Princess Trust. The pubs, which are owned and managed by Spirit Pub Company, held various charity events from raffles and prize draws to karaoke and disco nights.

General manager Victoria Fisher said: “We decided as an area that we would commit to generating at least £2,000 for the charity and we exceeded that figure in the first three weeks alone.”

New customers

A Devonshire pub created a new furniture feature to raise money for the Wallace and Grommitt Kids Appeal at Bristol Hospital. The Duke of Cornwall in Ivybridge, which is run by Dave Smith, charges customers £1 to sit in the chair.

Pub-chair
The Duke of Cornwall in Ivybridge designed this chair to raise money for the Wallace and Grommitt Kids Appea

“Since the chair has been in the pub, we have seen dozens of customers sitting in it and it has become somewhat of a talking point,” said Smith. “We have even seen some new faces coming in to see what the chair looks like and donate money to such a worthy cause.”

A separate independent survey commissioned for CAMRA and PubAid discovered that more people would use their local pubs if more charity events were organised – 32 per cent of young adults aged 18-24 said they would use their local more regularly if more events supported charities.

Camra has issued around 7,000 free promotional packs to pubs to help them advertise what they have planned for July. For more information, visit www.communitypubscampaign.org.uk​.

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